By: Jason Sowers, Business Development Manager, Allied Universal
While still statistically rare, active shooter incidents in the United States are continuing to rise in frequency, with FBI statistics showing an increased average of incidents over the past few years. With the Las Vegas attack in October 2017 being the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, it is important to prepare what your course of action will be if you are ever in an active shooter situation. As with any crisis, preparation and planning can help to minimize chaos and injury.
Assess the Situation
The response to an active shooter situation will be determined by particular circumstances. It is important to assess the situation and make the best choices for the individual event.
Run to Safety
When possible, evacuate the premises if it appears safe to do so. This escape may need to be through a window or back door. The safest exits in an emergency may not be the main hallways or doors as well-marked exits could be targets for potential shooters. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has developed a pocket guide for active shooter response which recommends escaping, hiding, or fighting. If an active shooter is in your vicinity, have an escape plan in mind, leave your belongings behind, and run to safety.
If an active shooter enters your workplace or any public or private venue you are at, call the police and provide the location and description of the shooter, if it is safe to do so. If possible, remain on the line with the 911 operator until police arrive because needs may change as the event unfolds. If speaking on the phone is dangerous with the shooter in earshot, or for any other reason, put the phone in your pocket but keep the line open so that the 911 operator can continue to hear what is going on.
For a community-related shooting, develop an Emergency Action Plan for residents that notify everyone that an active shooter is present. Code words, intercom capabilities, and instant messaging can help ensure that people are aware of the situation and stay out of harm's way. Evacuation and lock-down procedures should be part of your advance planning. Discuss how residents can observe details of the shooter in case the perpetrator leaves the premises. Train people to take accurate head counts and to check others for injuries.
If there are no safe escape routes, a lockdown may be a better choice. Immediately notify the police where you are and conceal yourself in a room that can be locked or barricaded. Silence your phone's ring tones, turn off the lights and stay away from doors and windows to create the impression that no one is there.
Fight for Your Life
"As a last resort, and when your life is in imminent danger, fight by attempting to incapacitate the shooter," recommends the FBI. "Act with physical aggression and throw items at the shooter." If the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate the shooter.
When police arrive, remain calm and follow all instructions. Raise your hands and keep your hands visible at all times. Avoid any quick movements towards the officers. The first officers on the scene will be focused on neutralizing the shooter, not handling injured people. Rescue teams with emergency medical personnel will follow the initial officers. They may also call upon citizens to assist in removing the wounded from the premises.
A number of excellent sources exist online that provide counsel on active shooter emergency planning from the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and ASIS International. Moreover, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has developed a new NFPA 3000™Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Program to help organizations and communities identify the elements needed to organize, manage and sustain an active shooter and/or hostile event response program. The goal also is to reduce or eliminate the risks, effect and impact of these types of events. Learn more at www.nfpa.org/3000.
About the Author: Jason Sowers is a Business Development Manager for Allied Universal Security Services. Jason serves as the Vice Chair of the BOMA/Suburban Chicago Emergency Preparedness Committee. He can be reached at Jason.Sowers@aus.com.
With Hurricane Florence approaching the U.S. East Coast, BOMA International is keeping in close contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to gather any information that may be helpful to our members.
Below is a list of resources and websites; we will update this list as more information becomes available:
Also consider downloading the FEMA smartphone app. The app includes National Weather Service alerts; safety tips on how to stay safe before, during and after the storm; a preparation checklist; and maps of disaster resources, such as shelters and disaster recovery centers. You also can locate an open emergency shelter or open disaster recovery center in your area by texting SHELTER and your ZIP Code to 43362 (4FEMA).
Additionally, FEMA operates regional National Business Emergency Operations Centers to provide disaster assistance. An online dashboard has been activated for the Atlantic region and can be a useful resource to ask questions and find answers. Registration is not required; you can enter this site as a guest.
By: Jason Sikora, SOS Security
What if I told you that there is technology available to your property right now that can detect a gunshot and immediately notify the police? Gunshot detection technology is not the only innovative technology available to you for active threat detection. Companies around the world are rapidly developing new technology such as updated mass notification systems, and smart building integration tools to help you better prepare your facilities for active threats.
Gunshot Detection Systems
One of the biggest challenges that arise from Active Shooter emergencies is the average time each incident lasts: five minutes or less. This means that the incident is usually over by the time first responders arrive onsite or, in some cases, before first responders are even notified. Gunshot detection systems are designed to detect and locate gunshots instantaneously and (application dependent) immediately alert first responders. This system works in the same way that most fire alarm control panels are designed to immediately notify the Fire Department upon activation of a fire alarm.
Smart Building Technology
One of my favorite quotes on the advancement of technology is one that I heard at a real estate industry presentation last year. In his presentation, the former CEO of 1871, Howard Tullman, stated, "Today, technology is changing at a rate faster than it ever has, and is also changing at a rate slower than it ever will again." As technology continues to rapidly develop, many more tools will be available to help improve the overall safety and security of your facility. However, not all technology is created equally, and not all technology can or should be applied to all scenarios. It is more important now than ever to be educated on the different options that are available to you, but also to learn what is the right fit for your specific application. I would encourage all managers to align themselves and their facility with a partner who is aware of these options and how they should be applied.
About the Author: Jason Sikora is the Business Development Manager for SOS Security. Jason has over 12 years of experience in the security industry and is the former Director of Security & Life Safety for various properties in downtown and suburban Chicago. Jason is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) through ASIS International and a past recipient of the Illinois Security Professional Association Chairman's Award. He is an active member of ASIS Chicago, BOMA Chicago's Preparedness Committee, BOMA/Suburban Chicago's Emergency Preparedness Committee, Illinois Security Professionals Association, STIC, and is the founder and former Vice Chair of the O'Hare Area Property Managers group. Jason can be reached at email@example.com.
By: Michael D. Guzan, M.B.A./J.D., Director of Compliance and Audit, MidCo Inc.
I've been asked several times, during my tenure on the Emergency Preparedness Committee, if there is a "comprehensive national standard" for what is now correctly referred to as "Active Threat" response, covering pre-incident planning and mitigation, all the way through an incident to post-incident recovery. Until recently, my answer was somewhat mixed, referencing FEMA and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sources, along with several others, but always feeling as if those were all "just short" of a truly comprehensive "playbook."
On May 1st, 2018, the NFPA released such a standard, NFPA 3000™ (PS), Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program.
Terminology: Active Shooter vs. Active ThreatFor the last twenty years or so, as workplace and school violence incidents garnered more and more media exposure, those incidents often involved the use of firearms by the perpetrators, and the term "Active Shooter" was used to describe the incident and/or assailant(s).
However, in the past several years, mass casualty incidents have seen a rise in the use of tools other than firearms. Vehicle-ramming, knife attacks, explosives, as well as the use of chemical and biological agents has led to a change in terminology, using "Active Threat" to cover a variety of mass casualty scenarios.
Why the Lack of a National Standard?The question then arises why there was no prior national standard; why hadn't a Federal Government agency provided one? In my opinion, it was a mix of a lack of a clear mandate for any one agency to undertake such a task, competing agency interests, and just plain old "bureaucratic red tape."
A few simple examples can help illustrate the point. The FBI is responsible for investigating and solving crimes, not directly promulgating standards. OSHA is responsible for workplace safety standards, but may otherwise not take a comprehensive approach to mass casualty incidents, which would require coordinating law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and post-incident recovery measures. FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security provide invaluable resources regarding Active Threat incidents, but may not deeply address topics such as "Hospital Preparedness" or post-incident victim assistance, such as mental health counseling or "Monetary Donation Management."
Enter the NFPA. Who is the NFPA?Better known for fire safety codes, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards.
Why the NFPA?After the Pulse Nightclub massacre in June of 2016, Chief Otto Drozd of Orange County Fire in Florida requested that NFPA develop a standard to help authorities come together and create a well-defined, cohesive plan that works to minimize harm and maximize resiliency. NFPA responded by establishing the NFPA Technical Committee on Cross Functional Emergency Preparedness and Response. In mid-April, NFPA 3000 was issued by the NFPA Standards Council, making it the first consensus document related to active shooter and hostile events.
The 46-member Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 3000 is NFPA's largest startup Committee, to date, with representation from law enforcement, the fire service, emergency medical services, hospitals, emergency management, private security, private business, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Justice, and many more. Committee members provided job-specific insight and real world observations from mass killings at Mandalay Bay Resort, Pulse Nightclub, Sandy Hook Elementary, the Sikh Temple, the Boston Marathon, and other less publicized events.
Some have asked why NFPA would be the organization to develop an active shooter standard. "For more than a century, NFPA has facilitated a respected consensus process that has produced some of the most widely used codes and standards in the world including more than 100 that impact first responders. Our purview goes far beyond our fire safety efforts as evidenced by our ongoing work to address new hazards with professionals in public safety, emergency management, community risk, electrical services, the energy sector, engineering, the chemical and industrial industries, healthcare, manufacturing, research, the government, and the built environment. The recent increase in active shooter incidents and the fire service involvement in them warranted NFPA's standards development expertise, and the timely development of NFPA 3000," NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley said.
NFPA 3000: The StandardNFPA 3000 marks only the second time in NFPA's 122-year history that they have issued a provisional standard. Provisional standards are developed in an expedited process to address an emergency situation or other special circumstance.
The scope of this standard is limited to the necessary functions and actions related to preparedness, response, and recovery from an active shooter/hostile event response (ASHER). This standard applies to any community, authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), facility, and member of any organization who responds to or prepares for ASHER incidents.
The standard was written with all responders in mind, regardless of whether they are from large or small organizations, municipal or rural communities; all were well-represented by the vast number and diversity of the committee members. Active shooter and hostile events are dynamic and have not been prejudice to a jurisdiction's size or complexity.
NFPA 3000 helps entire communities organize, manage, communicate, and sustain an active shooter/hostile event preparedness, response, and recovery program; really all aspects of the process, from identifying hazards and assessing vulnerability to planning, resource management, incident management at a command level, competencies for first responders, and recovery.
Read NFPA 300 here: NFPA 3000™ (PS), Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program.
The TakeawaysIn addition to offering NFPA 3000 via a new digital subscription - which will be updated automatically when the next edition becomes available - NFPA is offering an Online Training Series (the first of three courses are available now); a downloadable checklist; a readiness assessment document; and fact sheet to learn more about establishing a proactive, collaborative active shooter/hostile event program. Learn more about the program.
The true takeaway, however, is to just start - start educating yourself and your staff by taking advantage of the tremendous depth of resources available. While NFPA 3000 strives to set the national standard, other resources should be reviewed and incorporated, where appropriate. Continue to utilize the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, the FBI and Secret Service resources, in addition to State of Illinois and County resources. The more comprehensive, the better!
About the Author: Michael Guzan is the Director of Compliance and Audit for MidCo Inc. He earned a joint MBA/Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago in 2003. Michael is the Chair of BOMA/Suburban Chicago's Emergency Preparedness Committee and the current Treasurer for the Chicago Chapter of ASIS International, and is a member of the Chicago, Illinois, and American Bar Associations. Michael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday, August 31, Board member Kim DeFily, RPA, met with Laura Deibel and volunteers of the 2018 charity Waifs & Strays Animal Rescue at the Natural Pet Market in Wheaton. There, she presented them with a check in the amount of $3,600. The donation amount was collected at BOMA's 2018 Day at the Races event from our very generous ticket auction and centerpiece drawing participants.
Pictured left to right: Laurie Brown (holding Chica), Chris Gustaitis, Kim DeFily, RPA, Laura Deibel, Mike Neyman, Gary Mussell (holding Safari)
As of July 27, the Coalition of Window Cleaners and SEIU Local 1 have reached an agreement and the work stoppage is over. According to the SEIU Local 1, “the agreement guarantees annual raises, brings window washers to a $26 base wage over the life of the five-year contract-representing a historic 27 percent wage hike- and doubles their life insurance from $50,000 to $100,000.”
The SEIU Local 1 window washers’ contract expired June 30. The employees wanted the new contract to reflect fair compensation for the dangerous work they carry out, especially during hazardous weather conditions. The higher wages and life insurance policy provide workers with the ease of mind that if there is a work related injury or death that their family will be taken care of.
The Coalition wishes to thank BOMA/Suburban Chicago and its members for their support throughout the negotiations and especially this past month during the work stoppage. Every employer is anxious to get back to work doing what they do best – serving their customers and the industry. They are excited to be back and will be seeing your members next week again earning their business and trust.
The annual Day at the Races event will be held on Friday, August 17 at Arlington International Racecourse. Attend this networking event for live horse racing, food, prizes, contests, and more. This is BOMA's hottest summer event - you don't want to miss it!
In order to keep this well-attended event fun and exciting for all attendees, we are asking for your support with two items during the event:
To donate, contact Linda Hallberg with the quantity and the description of the item(s).
Gain recognition with other BOMA members and contribute to our hottest networking event of the summer. Sponsorships to the Day at the Races include:
Sign up to sponsor the Day at the Races today!
BOMA/Suburban Chicago is proud to announce that FOUR of our member buildings have won the 2018 Regional TOBY Award! Please help us congratulate the management teams of Bridge Commercial Real Estate, LLC, Millbrook Properties, and NAI Hiffman for their outstanding achievement! View Press Release
Management teams were notified last week with a surprise visit from members of the BOMA/Suburban Chicago Awards & Recognition Committee and BOMA staff.
The 2018 Regional TOBY Award winners from BOMA/Suburban Chicago are:
In the Suburban Office Park - Mid-Rise Category:Arboretum Lakes in LisleManaged and owned by Millbrook Properties
Left to right: Rick Barnett, Director of Engineering; Karen Boyd, Assistant General Manager; Stacey Delgado, Tenant Service Coordinator; Javier Rosado, Building Engineer; Mary Rakowski, Property Administrator; Tim Julien, Building Engineer; Dan Ryan, General Manager; Jonathan Nootens, Apprentice Engineer
In the 100,000 to 249,999 Square Feet Category:Edens in Northbrook
Managed by NAI Hiffman
Owned by KBS Realty Advisors
Left to right: Elizabeth O'Connor, Property Manager; Tom Murphy, Vice President/General Manager; Lynn Zbierski, Property Assistant; Rudy Ricardo, Building Engineer
In the Suburban Office Park Low-Rise Category:
Naperville Woods Office Center in Naperville
Managed by NAI Hiffman
Owned by Agellan Commercial REIT
Left to right: Scott Wilson, Chief Engineer; Julie Lee, Senior Property Manager; Stephanie Kressaty, Building Concierge; Jennifer Lewand, Assistant Property Manager; John Willis, Building Engineer; Tom Murphy, Vice President/General Manager; Dan M., Security Officer
In the 250,000 to 499,999 Square Feet Category:Windy Point II in SchaumburgManaged and owned by Bridge Commercial Real Estate, LLC
Left to right: Karen MacNab, Office Administrator; Juan Morales, Day Porter; Heather Weber, Tenant Service Coordinator; David Badame, Building Engineer; Doug Algrim, Chief Building Engineer, Christopher Schmitt, Property Manager
Enroll in the Home Depot Rebate Program today! It doesn't cost you anything to enroll and you could earn big through this member benefit just by making regular purchases throughout the year. The new rebate period begins March 1st so now is a great time to enroll to maximize your rebate.
BOMA members participating in a national rebate incentive program with The Home Depot have earned more than $10 million in rebates to date - more than $3 million in 2016 alone! You can earn money back on your purchases, too. The Home Depot rebate program offers BOMA members a two percent annual rebate on all qualifying in-store and online pre-tax purchases of thousands of products in Paint, Janitorial, Flooring, Plumbing, Electrical and more, plus other special savings and services, such as dedicated support, delivery, competitive pricing, and volume discounts.
There is no cost to enroll in the program. Rebates are distributed annually at the end of the rebate period and annual purchases must total a minimum of $25,000 to qualify. This program is for commercial accounts only and is open to all BOMA members, including associate members.
Enroll now and start earning money on your company's Home Depot purchases. Be sure to enter the program code BOMAwhen you register. If you are already enrolled in the program, be sure your account and payment information is up-to-date so that you don't miss out on any savings or rebates.
To enroll in the program, visit: www.homedepot.com/proloyalty
See the Enrollment Guide for more information.
Be sure to enter the program code BOMA when you register. Once you enroll, you'll be able to manage your account, add new accounts, add new users, and check your account status.
1515 E. Woodfield Rd, Suite 110
Schaumburg IL 60173
Phone: (847) 995-0970
Fax: (847) 995-0971
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